As this economic earthquake continues shaking the world, we can only guess at the results. There will be a recession, probably a global one. But that too will pass. What effects from this will ripple into the future?
This is speculation about the unknowable, to help us understand the magnitude of these events and open our imaginations to the possibility of extreme outcomes. This series considers the following ways in which the crisis will have large and long-reaching effects. (note the links to other chapters in the series)
- Political realignment in the US — dominance of the Democratic Party for a generation or more.
- Economic structure — a massive increase of government power, a slower growing but more stable economy.
- Oil prices and supply — lower prices followed by far higher prices, perhaps government ownership.
This post discusses #1: the coming political realignment of America. Political parties have three kinds of life: intellectual, popularity, and power. This crisis will lead to a massive shift in all three dimensions from the Republicans to the Democrats.
Parties have doctrines, which exist and evolve largely due to each party’s “thinkers” — who may be in an ignored remnant, a vibrant minority, or dominant. Since WWII the Conservatives (the ideological heart of the Republican Party) went through this sequence; now they will return to stage one — a ignored minority, considered cranks by a large fraction of the public.
This is a fate they have earned. They supported the mutant Republicanism of Bush II: a big-government, anti-civil liberty, pro-foreign war President. Now they follow McCain — even less conservative than Bush II — into oblivion. Pro-gun and anti-abortion have become the lodestones of Conservative thought, as other other beliefs were cast aside. Their support for Governor Palin shows the bankruptcy of this strategy; their mindless prattle about her wonderfulness are perhaps their last lines on the American political stage. For the next generation they will again be talking mostly to one another; perhaps during this time in the desert they will again find something worth our attention.
Consider the the Republican Party’s record of domestic and foreign policy. It has led us into two wars that so far have yielded zero benefits to America, and seem likely to yield less benefits in the future. As the dominant party since 1980, their management of the economy will be considered the epitome of insanity by future generations — the reckless accumulation of debt on all levels that eventually capsized the economy. These policies were largely supported by the Democratic Party — key policy initiatives in America are usually bipartisan — but the leading party takes responsibility for the success or failure of its policies.
The only factor saving the Republicans from electoral annihilation in November is that events have moved so quickly that Americans do not yet know the scope and magnitude of the damage. The 2010 election probably will complete the purge from office of all but the most strongly entrenched Republicans.
Power in our society is distributed among a network of “nodes.” Media, academia, political structures, the military, the judicial system, businesses, etc. Liberals, the heart of the Democratic Party, gained control of many sectors in the New Deal — and retain them today. They will add more nodes to their score in the coming years. Most notably, they will gain near-total control of the judicial system. Control of the academia, mainstream media, and all three branches of government — this will give them the ability to reshape America. A time of crisis and uncertainty will open American to change. This nation will look much different ten years from now.
If you are new to this site, please glance at the archives below. You may find answers to your questions in these, such as the causes of the present crisis. I have been writing about these events for several years; since November 2007 on this site. As you will see explained in these posts, the magnitude of the events now happening is beyond what most Americans have — or can — imagine.
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For more information about these things
What can we do to fight this crisis? See A solution to our financial crisis.
To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar. Of esp interest these days:
- about the Financial crisis – what’s happening? how will this end?.
- about The End of the Post-WWII Geopolitical Regime.
- about the candidates for President
- about America – how can we reform it?
A few posts about America – how can we reform it?
- Forecast: Death of the American Constitution, 4 July 2006
- Diagnosing the Eagle, Chapter III – reclaiming the Constitution, 3 January 2008
- A report card for the Republic: are we still capable of self-government?, 3 July 2008
- Americans, now a subservient people (listen to the Founders sigh in disappointment), 20 July 2008
- de Tocqueville warns us not to become weak and servile, 21 July 2008
- A soft despotism for America?, 22 July 2008
- The American spirit speaks: “Baa, Baa, Baa”, 5 August 2008
- We’re Americans, hear us yell: “baa, baa, baa”, 6 August 2008
- Obama describes the first step to America’s renewal, 8 August 2008
- Let’s look at America in the mirror, the first step to reform, 14 August 2008
- Fixing America: elections, revolt, or passivity?, 16 August 2008
- Fixing American: taking responsibility is the first step, 17 August 2008
- Fixing America: solutions — elections, revolt, passivity, 18 August 2008
- The intelligentsia takes easy steps to abandoning America, 19 August 2008
- Another step away from our Constitutional system, with applause, 19 September 2008